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Scoop That Poop: Hygiene and Pet Feces


The mounds of snow in the Midwest have mostly melted, and with any luck we are past the time of year for blizzards. While you may be rejoicing that spring is nearly here, don’t get too caught up in your garden plans and leisurely walks with your dog in the sunshine. You have an important task to accomplish.

Remember all that dog poop in your backyard that it was too cold to go retrieve? Well, it’s time.

Picking up your backyard should be an important part in your spring cleaning plans. Scooping poop is essential for responsible pet ownership and the health and well-being of your pet and those around you. Need some more motivation? Read on to discover the virtues of hygiene and pet feces.

Pet Feces Annoyances

Let’s face it, poop is gross. Having a yard littered with pet feces is not attractive and won’t win you any neighbor of year awards. Responsible pet owners should always be picking up after their pets when nature calls in a public place, and should be regularly scooping poop in their own yards. A few common sense reasons to bust out the pooper scooper include:

  • No one likes to step in a squishy surprise
  • The odor is not attractive
  • Attentive scooping helps to be sure that more places will allow dogs to frequent them
  • No one wants pet waste washed into our waterways
  • Feces attract flies, which are not as fun to watch as birds
  • Your dog is less likely to pick up a taste for the finer things in life if there is no poop to sample

Don’t delay for too long… once those April showers start your job may not be as easy as when things are still a little more frozen.

Do It for the Animals

Feces contain bacteria and other organisms that can be a threat to your pet’s health. Even if your pet isn’t a poop-eater, he or she probably plays with a ball that has hit the dirt or occasionally licks his or her paws. If your soil is contaminated with pet feces, your pet could be at risk.

Some common pathogens transmitted in the feces include:

  • Roundworms
  • Whipworms
  • Hookworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Coccidia
  • Giardia
  • Parvovirus
  • Campylobacter
  • Salmonella
  • E. coli

Even if your dog is on a good parasite prevention, 1 gram of his or her feces (about the size of a dice) can still contain up to 23 million bacteria!

Picking up after your pet promptly can help to ensure that these nasty bugs don’t leach into the soil, contaminating our water supply with these things. It also decreases the odds that your pet (or another) will become sick as a result of exposure.

The “Z” Word

Unfortunately, zoonoses are a real thing. A zoonotic disease is one that is transmissible between animals and people. Many pet parasites and bacteria can infect humans as well, making pet feces a potentially hazardous source of disease. Protect your family and those around you by practicing good hygiene with your pet’s poop.

Hopefully you are inspired to go grab a bag or two and get started on that yard. Pet feces are no joke, and picking up after your pet is an important part of good pet ownership.

The post Scoop That Poop: Hygiene and Pet Feces appeared first on West Park Animal Hospital Blog.